04/16/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Yippee-Ki-Yay Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!

This week, Midknight Review, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

04/11/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 04/11/14

The Watcher’s Council


We Stand With Cliven Bundy

Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“In war, truth is the first casualty” – Aeschylus

“We maintain peace through our strength; appeasement only invites aggression” – President Ronald Reagan, 1983

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” – Jeremiah 8:11

This week’s winner was Joshuapundit’s Yes, The Peace Talks Are Dead – And An Opportunity For Real Peace Comes Alive. Here’s the real story of how things imploded and why, and how the Obama Administration set things up for failure. I attempt to wrap up the post mortum and show that there’s an opportunity for real peace here, what I think it would take and what it might look like. Here’s a slice:

While neither side has formally acknowledged it, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are dead, and even John Kerry has thrown in the towel.

The Obama Team would never admit it, but they’re fully aware that it was Palestine’s unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas that pulled the trigger and ended the talks, and his own controlled Palestinian media proudly admits it. Both Palestinian and Israeli media outlets on Thursday night quoted Abbas as saying, “I would rather become a martyr” than rescind the applications he signed on Tuesday to join 15 UN and other international treaties and conventions.

Kerry and the rest of the Obama team managed to arm twist the Israelis into discussing a further release of convicted terrorists along with releasing the fourth batch provided Abbas rescinded the UN membership applications and agreed to extend the deadline of the talks.

Instead of agreeing to what amounted to another gimmee, Abbas came out with a whole new set of pre-conditions to continue talks, conditions he knew no Israeli government could accept. According to Abbas’ own Palestinian News Agency Ma’an, the new pre-conditions included formal Israeli recognition of the borders of ‘Palestine’ as the pre-67 lines with all of East Jerusalem as its capitol; the release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners including convicted terrorist leaders Marwan Barghouti, Fuad Shweiki and Ahmad Saadat; a Israeli building freeze in East Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria; Israeli citizenship for 15,000 Palestinians under a ‘family reunification program’ essentially a recognition of a Palestinian ‘right of return’; the end of Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza; the right of return for PLO terrorists who were exiled to European countries under an agreement between the EU and Israel after the 2002 Palestinian siege of the Church of the Nativity; forbidding the IDF to enter Area A, the part of Judea and Samaria under PA control which would essentially create an escape zone for terrorists after attacks on Israelis since the PA has never jailed anyone for murdering an Israeli; and Palestinian control of parts of Area C, the areas now under full Israeli sovereignty.

And that was just to continue listening to Abbas say no for another few months!

Kerry’s deputy Martin Indyk mediated a nine hour meeting between head Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj, and Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho and tried to cable together some semblance of a reasonable platform, but he was yelled down by the Palestinian negotiators and the entire meeting turned into a shouting match, with even the ever flexible Tzipi Livni unable to contain herself. At one point, Livni reportedly demanded of Erekat that Abbas rescind the applications to the 15 UN organizations and conventions he’d submitted in order to negotiate any other preconditions. Erekat flatly refused, and Livni announced the next day that Israel would definitely not release that fourth batch of convicted Palestinian terrorists.

When Indyk tried to reason with the Palestinians, saying that any agreement had to consider Israel’s security considerations, Faraj snapped back that the Palestinians weren’t there to discuss Israeli security, but to negotiate over a timetable to get all of their demands met.

Things went quickly downhill from there, with the Palestinians threatening to join even more international bodies and take prosecute Israel for ‘war crimes’ at the International Criminal Court and the Israelis promising retaliation if they did so.

Abbas never had any intention of actually negotiating. Even Saeb Erekat admitted earlier this month that Abbas was staying in the talks just to get the terrorist releases.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Matt WalshHey gay rights militants: your fascism is showing, submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s Walsh’s defiant blowback to the Gay Mafia and progressive fascism in general, and it makes for some stirring reading.

Okay, here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

04/9/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The New Fascism Edition

The Watcher’s Council

It’s all over the place, isn’t it? ‘Nuff said.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

First off, we have a party to go to, we do. Nice Deb’s actual birthday was April 6th, but we’ll celebrate it in style today!

First off, a cake. I chose a double Dutch chocolate number, with chocolate ganache icing and just a lil’ bit of rum for flavor.

Beverage? I thought some Kristal Brut would go nicely. Can’t go wrong with a classic, yes?

Our friend Debra is fairly new to the Council. Back last June, when a vacancy opened up, I happened across her site and really liked what this no nonsense conservative lady was putting out. Her response when I asked if she’d be interested in joining the Council? “Sure, sounds like fun.”

You see, that’s the other side of her persona. Among her other attributes, she has a really good sense of humor, so I knew right then she’d fit in well with the rest of the gang. And she certainly has, to say the least.

Not that it should be any surprise, of course. As she’s shown me and her other Council mates on many occasions, she really is Nice Deb.

Happy Birthday, Debra… and many, many more.

THE COUNCIL IN ACTION:

This week, Midknight Review, Right Reason, Maggie’s Notebook and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some fine articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

04/8/14

Pulitzer Prizes for Espionage?

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

As the Pulitzer Prize board meets this week to consider its 2014 winners, many eyes are on the journalists who conspired with former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, and the secret documents he stole and then disclosed to them.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Ricks was initially sympathetic to Snowden. But he has grown suspicious of Snowden’s Russian connection and debt to the Vladimir Putin regime. Ricks asked whether Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, his main collaborator, would denounce recent crackdowns on press freedom in Russia. Ricks said, “If they [are] acting on moral beliefs, now would be the time for both of them to speak out against Putin. It could have a great impact, I think.”

Later, he expanded his concern, saying that the longer Greenwald and Snowden “remain silent on events in Ukraine, the more I suspect their previous motives.”

The Moscow connection for Snowden stands out like a sore thumb.

Almost a year ago I wrote, “…the Snowden case looks increasingly like the NSA equivalent of Philip Agee, who defected from the CIA and became a Soviet and Cuban agent. Agee died in Havana after writing several books with the help of Cuban intelligence.”

Another comparison is provided by Logan Beirne, an Olin Scholar at Yale Law School who wrote that Edward Snowden is a modern day Benedict Arnold, the notorious traitor to the American Revolution.

He writes, “Born and raised in America, both men held positions meant to bolster U.S. national security. However, disillusioned with the political system, they came to see America’s adversaries as their salvation. Seeking out positions of trust, they collected sensitive intelligence, which they then divulged. Both fled to hostile nations as the U.S. government hunted them. Whatever justifications we concoct to explain their actions, Snowden and Arnold betrayed their country.”

Beirne’s book is Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency.

His column, published last year, goes on to say, “Just as Snowden sought out a position with inside access to the National Security Agency, Arnold lobbied for command of West Point. Knowing the installation was crucial to the American cause, he collected intelligence on its fortifications as well as on Continental Army movements. He delivered this information to a British agent, but American forces intercepted it just in time to prevent the British takeover. Rather than stay to defend his actions, Arnold fled to British-controlled territory, providing our foes with more secrets.”

He adds, “Our founding fathers faced men like Edward Snowden. They sentenced them to death.”

Before the Snowden scandal developed, the NSA had published its own informative guide to espionage in the American Revolution entitled Revolutionary Secrets. It states, “Communication plays an important role in both a country’s diplomacy and its wars. Keeping those communications secret and understanding the adversary’s communications can make the crucial difference in a leader’s actions and abilities.” For instance, General George Washington received intelligence, gained partially through the decryption of captured British messages, that gave him the assurance he needed to complete his move on Yorktown, Virginia, the booklet says.

Washington discovered Benedict Arnold was a spy, but Arnold was by then on the run, mounting up and riding away to the nearest British outpost. He eventually arrived safely behind British lines aboard the HMS Vulture on the Hudson River.

In Snowden’s case, of course, he went to Russia. Liberal columnist Richard Cohen had said, “Snowden’s residency in Russia has been forced upon him—he had nowhere else to go.” But Edward Lucas notes in his book, The Snowden Operation: Inside the West’s Greatest Intelligence Disaster, “If he were truly keen to portray himself as a whistleblower, why did he fly to Hong Kong? For anyone involved in American cyber-security, China is the biggest threat—bigger even than Russia. Though autonomous in economic terms, Hong Kong is firmly under the thumb of the Chinese authorities when it comes to security.”

Regarding those who find it somehow accidental or coincidental that Snowden ended up in Moscow, Lucas counters: “People who are so highly (and I would say unreasonably) suspicious of Western governments become bizarrely trusting where the interests and abilities of Vladimir Putin’s regime are concerned.”

This is a point that Thomas Ricks seems to be grasping.

In fact, Snowden’s leaks seemed designed to embarrass the United States and enable Russia to evade U.S. electronic intercepts. Consider the Guardian story, “G20 summit: NSA targeted Russian president Medvedev in London,” based on a Snowden leak. The document shows the agency believed it might have discovered “a change in the way Russian leadership signals have been normally transmitted,” the story said.

Leaks like these help explain The Wall Street Journal story about Russian war planners catching the U.S. by surprise prior to the invasion of Ukraine.

By the way, the AMC cable-TV network is airing “TURN,” based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies. It seems that spying has become fashionable again, at least on television when the enemies are British, and not Russian or Chinese.

Brian Kilmeade of Fox News co-authored the great book, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution, and openly thanks the CIA for providing information.

The CIA had published its own report, “Intelligence in the War of Independence,” back in 2007 that included a Washington letter saying, “The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent & need not be further urged—All that remains for me to add is, that you keep the whole matter as secret as possible.”

The booklet notes that the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Committee of Correspondence (renamed the Committee of Secret Correspondence). It authorized “secret agents,” covert operations, the use of codes and ciphers, “propaganda activities,” and even “the opening of private mail.”

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some members of the Communist Party helped create the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, in order to undermine U.S. defenses against communist subversion. This Communist Party spin-off was named after the Committee of Correspondence formed during the American Revolution.

Comparing communists to American patriots is like calling Edward Snowden a whistleblower.

We shall see on April 14, when the Pulitzer Prizes are announced, whether the American media establishment falls for it.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

04/4/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 04/04/14

The Watcher’s Council


Premieres Sunday, 04/06/14 at 9/8c on AMC

Based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, AMC’s TURN tells the untold story of America’s first spy ring. A historical thriller set during the Revolutionary War, TURN centers on Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island who bands together with his childhood friends to form the Culper Ring — an unlikely team of secret agents who not only went on to help George Washington turn the tide of the war but also gave birth to modern spycraft.

“Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” – President Ronald Reagan

“Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” – Ambrose Beirce, The Devil’s Dictionary

“A whitewashed crow soon shows black again” – Chinese proverb

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Even taking into consideration the normal high level of quality in both the Council and Non-Council entries, this was a tough call with some exceptional pieces to choose from and the close vote tally reflects it.

For instance, we had a tie this week in the Council category which I, as Watcher, have to break.

On the one hand, we had a superb in depth look at the scandal of Leland Yee – Gun Runner, Terrorist Enabler, Progressive Communist, by The Noisy Room, an example of how a poster boy for San Francisco’s Progressive set, presented one face in public and a totally different one in private.

Call it a political kind of Dorian Gray tale.

On the other hand, there was Joshuapundit’s effort, Sharia Rears Its Head In Pennsylvania, a cautionary look at how Islamic Sharia law is affecting American jurisprudence.

The choice for me was an easy one… here’s a slice of The Noisy Room’s excellent Leland Yee – Gun Runner, Terrorist Enabler, Progressive Communist:

For years now, Trevor Loudon has warned about Progressives, their corruption and their oft connection to the Communist underworld… especially in Asian circles of influence. A member of the California Asian Pacific Island Legislative Caucus, Yee has some splainin’ to do… Leland Yee is an excellent example of this ilk of Progressive politician. Yee just got caught stepping in criminal crap big time. This one is sheer poetry.

But he wasn’t the only one this week and he is the third in California alone. It would seem the FBI has developed a hankering for corrupt Democrats suddenly. From bribery in Pennsylvania, where charges were dropped because the judge deemed them ‘racist,’ to the Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina resigning over bribes taken for business favors, it just keeps getting better and better.

Enter Leland Yee, originally — wait for it — from Hawaii. Not only is Lee connected to the Communist underworld and political power brokers in California, he’s been a bad, bad boy and has been gun running in connection to radical Islamic terrorists. A staunch gun control advocate, one has to savor the irony that he was suppressing gun rights, so he could sell arms on the black market to his constituents. A hypocrite extraordinaire, Yee called for Progressive-style transparency and guns for those who could afford them.

You’ve got to give it to Lee, he sported a big set as he flipped the bird to authorities and was running for Secretary of State. That would have been hard to do with cuffs on and behind bars, just sayin’. He’s now withdrawn from the race with more pressing matters to attend to. A 137-page, FBI-sworn affidavit against California State Sen. Leland Yee, as well as over two dozen other individuals, has been filed. This is some good stuff… entertainment and enlightenment for the whole country.

Charges include not only gun running, but wire fraud, money laundering, corruption and bribery. And it gets better. The affidavit contains alleged murder-for-hire plots involving a political consultant close to Yee, as well as large international weapons trafficking operations. These operations included automatic weapons, shoulder-fired missiles, rocket launchers and heavy artillery. Anyone for adding treason to the charges? These weapons were allegedly being brought in from Russia and Islamic rebels in the Philippines.

California, we have a problem:

Out in California, State Senator Leland Yee, a longtime California politician who was praised for his efforts to make government more transparent and authored gun control legislation, was arrested Wednesday, accused of conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud. According to the NY Daily News, Yee discussed helping the undercover FBI agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired automatic weapons and missiles, and showed the agent the entire process of how to get those weapons from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines into the United States, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

Yee performed “official acts” in exchange for donations from undercover FBI agents, as he sought to dig himself out of a $70,000 debt incurred during a failed San Francisco mayoral bid, according to court documents. Yee is also accused of accepting $10,000 in January 2013 from an undercover agent in exchange for his making a call to the California Department of Public Health in support of a contract under consideration with the agency.

Another individual named in the affidavit is Raymond Chow, aka “Shrimp Boy,” the former leader of a Chinese criminal organization with ties to Hong Kong. Chow is accused of money laundering, conspiracy to receive and transport stolen property and conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes.

Yee is the third Democrat senator from California to face charges this year along with Sen. Rod Wright, convicted of perjury and voter fraud, and Sen. Ron Calderon, indicted on federal corruption charges. Wright and Calderon are both taking a voluntary leave of absence, WITH pay of course– so typical.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon with an absolutely magnificent take down of Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, entitled The Grandfather and submitted by Joshuapundit. This is definitely a must-read piece.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

04/2/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – April Fool’s Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Yes, it’s April Fool’s Day all right. Especially when it comes to discussing all those ‘ObamaCare enrollments’ while not revealing how many people actually bought insurance, figuring in the between 5 and 6 million people who lost insurance, or how many of those who enrolled are Medicaid clients applying for free stuff, hmm? And to make this speech on April Fool’s Day! Who knew the president had such a great sense of humor? Why, when it comes to this healthcare riff, he’s almost as funny as Fidel Castro and that’s saying something!

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

This week, Right Reason, Blazing Cat Fur, The Mellow Jihadi and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, without any further ado, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

03/28/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 03/28/14

The Watcher’s Council


Come and keep your comrade warm…
Leland Yee – Gun Runner, Terrorist Enabler, Progressive Communist

The Council has spoken, the sacred bones have been tossed, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“We stand with Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. America’s commitment and my commitment to the security of Israel is unshakeable.” – President Barack Hussein Obama, 2012 campaign speech

I hate that man like the very Gates of Death who says one thing but hides another in his heart. – Homer, The Iliad

“He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” – George Orwell, Shooting An Elephant

This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Obama Commends Abbas For ‘Consistently Renouncing Violence’ ???, is my reaction to a few things President Obama said about Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas during their cozy photo-op at the White House last week. Here’s a slice:

On Monday, before his meeting with Palestine’s unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama did the usual press appearance with Abbas and said something quite interesting:

“I have to commend President Abbas,” Obama said alongside the Palestinian leader. “He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security; a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.”

Let’s examine that, shall we?

For starters, Abbas just signed a new unity agreement with Hamas, an organization that is openly genocidal and makes its members swear an oath to pursue a second Holocaust.

Abbas is a Holocaust denier, even if he lies about it today to handpicked audiences of Left wing Israelis. And his Moscow University thesis denying that the Holocaust occurred is a required part of Palestine’s educational curriculum.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority under his control have always glorified the murderers of Israeli civilians. Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, after all, are the same folks who made child murderer Sami Kuntar an honorary ‘Palestinian’ citizen and gave him a hero’s welcome after he was released in a prisoner swap. Abbas and his Fatah faction have made a point of naming public buildings and streets after murderers and teach their children about the virtues of killing Jews in their mosques, media and schools.

And Abbas pays terrorist murderers who are convicted in Israeli civilian courts monthly salaries to encourage further violent attacks against Jewish civilians, with the higher salaries for both Hamas and Fatah killers reserved for those who commit the most heinous murders and thus get longer jail terms.

The Fogel family who lived in the Jewish community of Itamar were at home relaxing after the Sabbath on March 11, 2011 when two Palestinians affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Hakim Awad and Amjad Muhammad Fawzi Awad carried out an ‘operation’ they had planned in advance. After cutting through a security fence, they broke into the Fogel’s home and murdered five members of the family pictured above, including a 3-month-old baby. They butchered them without even the regard a slaughterer usually gives to an animal. They are on the PA’s salary list, receiving top dollar because of the five life sentences they received.These are your tax dollars at work, courtesy of President Obama, the UN and the EU.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was a simply masterful piece by John Hindraker over at Powerline, Washington Post Falls For Left-Wing Fraud, Embarrasses Itself [Updated With Post's Response] submitted by The Glittering Eye. John caught the WAPO red handed publishing a completely false story designed to libel the Koch Brothers for partisan political purposes. And to add to the mix, written by a reporter who is married to a Democrat operative who works for the Obama Front group, the Center For American Progress.

As Rush Limbaugh famously said, these people aren’t journalists, but Democrat activists with a byline.

Okay, here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

03/26/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – March Madness Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Yes… honest, law abiding leadership… that.

The sort of leadership that would rewrite the Freedom of Information Act secretly without consulting congress. The sort of leadership that would gut an existing law to shield himself and any ‘White House equities’ – which are anything this president says they are – from being lawfully released under the FOIA Act for as long as he chooses to stonewall them. The kind of honest, transparent leadership that would commit an illegal and unconstitutional act three months after he was sworn in and violate his oath of office with impunity.

The fault isn’t in Caesar, but in ourselves in that we choose to be underlings. Yes, the shame is ours, in that we choose to we put up with this without screaming bloody murder and insisting justice be done.

Sheer madness.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!

Loudon and Beck — Back Together Again on TheBlazeTV!
Wednesday, March 26, Prime Time 5 pm ET

Don’t miss the show, March 26th at 5 pm ET! Trevor Loudon is delighted to return as a guest with Glenn Beck on TheBlaze TV March 26th. It’s a reunion of two valiant freedom fighters and best-selling authors — defending liberty; fighting tyranny, fascism and communism.

Liberty’s Spirit has a new article up at the Times of Israel, Rejecting God: Atheism and Autism.

Nice Deb has a new piece up at Breitbart about a significant legal challenge to Obamacare, DC Circuit Court to Decide Tuesday Whether Obama Administration Can Rewrite Laws.

Joshuapundit has a new piece up at the Times of Israel, What Caroline Glick’s One State Plan Unfortunately Misses.

****************************************************

This week, MidKnight Review, The Pirate’s Cove, Maggie’s Notebook and Right Truth earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site and linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, without further ado, let’s see what we have this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

03/21/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 03/21/14

The Watcher’s Council


Ted Cruz: Rebel With A Cause

Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“Israel exists; it has a right to exist in peace behind secure and defensible borders; and it has a right to demand of its neighbors that they recognize those facts. I have personally followed and supported Israel’s heroic struggle for survival, ever since the founding of the State of Israel 34 years ago. In the pre-1967 borders Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile Arab armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.” – Ronald Reagan, 1982

“The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts… I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us.” – Eric Hoffer, 1968

“We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” – Barack Obama, 2011

This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’sNice Little Jewish State Ya Got There… Shame If Anything Were to Happen To It,’ is a reaction and analysis of a widely publicized interview President Obama gave when Israeli leader Benyamin Netanyahu was en route to meet with him and how it related to some subsequent events. Here’s a slice:

While Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu was already en route to the United States to discuss the Middle East peace process, President Obama gave an interview at the beginning of last week to a friendly journalist, Jeffrey Goldberg.The shock waves from what the president had to say are still reverberating.

President Obama started by talking about the Israeli-Arab peace process.

The president, to summarize briefly, embraces the tired idea of ‘linkage’ wholeheartedly. In his view, Israel catering to the demands of the Palestinian Authority, giving up strategic territory in exchange for vague promises from Mahmoud Abbas and accepting the establishment of a hostile state on Israel’s borders will magically lead to peace in the Middle East. Israel’s Arab neighbors will all immediately become allies and friends, the Iranians will stop their quest for nuclear weapons and stop threatening to destroy Israel every two weeks or so and Hamas and Hezbollah will close up shop, disarm and go out of business.

When Goldberg prompted him, he made a few pro forma remarks about Netanyahu and about the American ‘commitment to Israel being rock solid’. But as he made plain, he wants Israel to comply with all of the Palestinian demands, and quickly. Or else. Because, you see, there are going to be a lot more Palestinians and Israeli Arabs who will overwhelm Israel demographically, the EU and others are going to isolate Israel internationally and the U.S. is going to not be able to defend Israel diplomatically any longer. Unmentioned is that much of any diplomatic isolation Israel faces is a direct result of the animosity exhibited towards the Jewish State by President Obama and his administration.

Even Goldberg, a long time Obama supporter, evidenced some shock in a subsequent interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose and characterized this as a threat.

The president,of course, focused exclusively on Arab rights rather than Jewish ones, and on Israeli security…which of course, he expects Israel to depend totally on the United States to oversee and handle, something that can be changed at the president’s whim. He characterizes the Palestinians as ready for peace, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, because to the president, it’s those stubborn Jews who are holding things up.

Just for the record, that demographic threat the president and Secretary Kerry keep focusing on that is supposed to doom Israel as a democratic state unless those Jews do what he wants and fast is pure fantasy. The real truth as I write this is that the trends shows a Jewish majority in Judea and Samaria of well over 60%, because the Jewish fertility rate has increased while Palestinian rates have collapsed. In fact, Jewish fertility rates in Judea and Samaria have already overtaken Arab rates at 3.04 vs. 2.91 children per woman. Israel continues to attract a high rate of immigration, with many more to come, especially from Europe, while Palestinian emigration rates have risen sharply. Time is on the side of Israel, not the Palestinians…which is the real reason for the haste to push through a deal by the White House.

President Obama’s fantasy world also includes a portrait of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority as committed to peace.At one point, the president referred to Abbas as ‘the most moderate Palestinian leader the Israelis are ever going to get.’

This could have been the cue for Goldberg to remind the president that this is the same Mahmoud Abbas who has repeatedly said that he will not make any concessions to Israel, who insists on a Jew free reichlet and who recently signed a unity agreement with the genocidal Hamas. This is the same ‘moderate’ who wrote his thesis at Moscow University on how the Holocaust was a myth and made it a required part of the Palestinian educational curriculum, regardless of what he told a group of hand-picked Leftist Israeli students in Ramallah last week. This is the same leader supposedly committed to peace and co-existence who sees to it that convicted murderers of Israeli civilians are honored as ‘holy martyrs’, heroes and role models and rewards them financially.

Instead, Goldberg merely pointed out that Abbas was “also the leader of a weak, corrupt and divided Palestinian entity that is already structurally semi-powerless. Do you think he could deliver anything more than a framework agreement? Is this the guy who can lead the Palestinian people to say, “OK, no more claims against Israel, permanent peace, permanent recognition?”

And President Obama’s reply? “I think it has to be tested. The question is: What is lost by testing it?” The answer, of course is the same thing that was lost because of Oslo and the Road Map – hundreds of Jewish lives and hundreds of others maimed for life. President Obama, to be frank, didn’t seem all that put out by the idea of Jewish bloodshed, as long as a Palestinian state the way he envisions it is the result.

Israeli PM Netanyahu probably came to the U.S. prepared to accept the non-binding Kerry framework and to try once more to convince President Obama that the Iranians are committed to obtaining nuclear weapons, that they must be stopped and time is running out. Instead, he was hit with this while in mid air.

Not only did President Obama convince a lot of Israelis that his view of an Israeli/Palestinian peace accord isn’t rooted in reality and that they can no longer depend on the U.S. as any kind of honest broker, but the president’s remarks had to let Netanyahu know in advance that any attempt to get President Obama to look at reality on Iran was a waste of time.

In the interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, President Obama also did some chest thumping about Iran, saying that the Iranians were cooperating because they were afraid of him! To hear President Obama talk, because they’re so scared of what he might do, “they’ve halted their nuclear program, no centrifuges being installed; the 20 percent enriched uranium being drawn down to zero; Arak on hold.”

Absolutely none of this is true. The Iranians say flatly that enrichment is continuing, a whole new crop of advanced centrifuges is being installed, and the Iranian heavy water reactor at Arak,which has no peaceful application is not on hold at all.

In the end, instead of publicly accepting the framework, Netanyahu merely took a copy from the president privately without commenting and left for home. Among other things, this completely sandbagged Secretary of State John Kerry, who was not briefed on the interview in advance and according to one of my sources definitely in a position to know, was left scrambling to do damage control.

The latest indication of this president’s disdain for Israel occurred after Netanyahu left the White House. One of Israel’s written-in-stone conditions for any peace agreement is the formal acceptance by Abbas of Israel as a Jewish State. Israel wants this because it would signal a final end to the conflict, terminate the Palestinian fiction that Jews are just ‘colonists’ who have no connection or rights to the land of Israel and end the idea that thousands of those hostile Arabs whom represent themselves as Palestinian ‘refugees’ somehow have a right to resettle in Israel.

Abbas has always refused to do this for exactly these reasons, and once this interview was released, he repeated it once again. Not only that, but those Arabs whom represent themselves as Palestinians and whom President Obama claims are ready for peaceful coexistence refuse to accept Israel as a Jewish state either. Because like Abbas, they still cling to the dream of someday driving the Jews into the sea.

When Abbas again repeated his refusal, what was different this time is that our own State Department backed him up on it.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis Hanson with A New Obama Doctrine?, submitted by Bookworm Room, which poses the question of whether President Obama will change his foreign policy direction ala’ President Carter after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Okay, here are this week’s full results. Only Rhymes With Right was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

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